Catholic bishop tells South Sudanese to pursue peace

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The bishop of the Catholic diocese of Yei has called on South Sudanese people to listen to one another and work hard to bring peace so that war comes to an end.

The bishop of the Catholic diocese of Yei has called on South Sudanese people to listen to one another and work hard to bring peace so that war comes to an end.

 

“Let us all be concerned to protect peace even when it is threatened,” bishop Erkolano Lodu Tombe told the congregation at Christ the King church on Sunday.

“Let us listen to one another so that the war ends,” he added.

Bishop Lodu urged the warring parties to honour their commitments and desist from counter attacks which violate signed agreements.

He said if the warring parties keep fighting while negotiations continue, it will only lead to a “humanitarian catastrophe” for the citizens.

“Let the negotiators continue with dialogue to bring peace. We escalate the humanitarian catastrophe in this country when we negotiate in order to bring peace when at the same time we are fighting and destroying the lives of our people,” he said.

He added that all the agreements which have been signed since January 2014 have not been adhered to, urging the warring parties to “please negotiate in good faith for our good and let the people live in peace”.

The Catholic prelate also appealed to citizens to continuously pray for the negotiations and commit themselves to God, amidst all the difficulties engulfing them, saying that peace will eventually come into the country.

Meanwhile, reports from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where the peace talks have been taking place indicate that the two warring factions signed a peace agreement which aims t end any further hostilities between the fighting groups.

Under the new peace pact, the two factions agreed to adjourn the talks until February 19 when the negotiations will resume ahead of the final and comprehensive peace pact expected on March 5.

The African Union and the United Nations have warned that any side which violates the new peace deal will face unspecified penalties. This message was conveyed to the warring sides by chief mediator ambassador Seyoum Mesfin from Ethiopia.

The signing of the latest peace deal was witnessed by President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, who is the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) rappoteur, and Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Dessalegn, who is the chairman of the regional body.

The Ethiopian PM and ambassador Mesfin asked the principals to the conflict to show statesmanship and honour what they had signed.

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